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  • FIDE President’s welcome letter.............................................................................................................1

    Introduction by the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission Chairman ..................................................2

    Time Controls in FIDE World Events......................................................................................................3

    Anti cheating guidelines for Arbiters................................................................................................5

    Incidents that happened during Tournaments:

    a. Case from a National Youth Championship.....................................................................8

    b. Case from an International Open Tournament .............................................................9

    c. Case from the 2015 World Women’s Team Chess Championship ...................9

    d. Case from the 2015 World Amateur Chess Championship................................10

    e. Case from the 2015 Dubai Open Tournament ............................................................10

    f. Case from the 2015 USA Chess Championship .............................................................11


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  • Dear chess friends,

    Every professional community has to have an open platform to discuss theirwork-related issues and to share operational experience. Ever-growing and dy-namic chess arbiters' society is no exception.

    FIDE Arbiters' Commission has undertaken the task of publishing an online mag-azine for chess arbiters where the most actual problems of chess arbiters’ day-to-day professional life will be analyzed and the most perplexing cases will bescrutinized.

    The online format allows immediate response of the audience and favors vividdiscussions. I am convinced that this new magazine will be of great help for chessarbiters around the world and wish it big success and active and competentreaders.

    Gens Una Sumus!

    Kirsan IlyumzhinovFIDE President

    FIDE President’s welcome

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  • 2

    Dear friends,

    The FIDE Arbiters’ Commission has the pleasure to publish the first issue of theArbiters’ Magazine.

    This publication is our attempt to offer to all the Arbiters around the worldthe necessary knowledge and information, to enable them to exercise their du-ties in the best way.

    The Magazine will include real incidents from the tournaments and respectiveactions of the Arbiters, as well as decisions taken by the FIDE Congresses andPresidential Boards in connection to the Arbiters. It will also contain any otherinformation that can be useful to the Arbiters.

    Many thanks to the Arbiters’ Commission Editorial Subcommittee of IA ArisMarghetis (CAN), Secretary of the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission, and IA Carlos Dias(POR), Member of the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission, who collect the material forpublication in every issue of the Magazine and prepare it for publication.

    The Arbiters’ Magazine will be published twice a year on the FIDE Arbiters’Commission website and will be available for printing to everybody.

    You are welcome to send your comments, opinions and ideas, as well as anyincidents that have come to your knowledge and you believe are worth pub-lishing.

    Your assistance to our effort will be highly appreciated.

    Athens, 30 June 2015Takis Nikolopoulos

    ChairmanFIDE Arbiters' Commission


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  • World Chess Federation FIDE Arbiters' Commission



    The following time controls have been approved by the 2015 Chengdu FIDE Presidential Boardfor the following FIDE Events:


    1. World Championship Match 100’/40+50’/20+15’/endwith incr. 30”/move, starting from move 1

    2. Candidates Tournament 100’/40+50’/20+15’/endwith incr. 30”/move, starting from move 1

    3. World Cup 90’/40+30’/endwith incr. 30”/move, starting from move 1

    4. Grand Prix Tournaments 100’/40+50’/20+15’/endwith incr. 30”/move, starting from move 1

    5. Women’s World Championship Match 90’/40+30’/endwith incr. 30”/move, starting from move 1

    6. Chess Olympiad 90’/40+30’/endwith incr. 30”/move, starting from move 1

    7. World Team Championship 90’/40+30’/endwith incr. 30”/move, starting from move 1

    8. Women’s World Team Championship 90’/40+30’/endwith incr. 30”/move, starting from move 1

    9. Women’s Grand Prix Tournaments 90’/40+30’/endwith incr. 30”/move, starting from move 1

    10. World Senior Championship 90’/40+30’/endwith incr. 30”/move, starting from move 1

    11. World Senior Team Championship 90’/40+30’/endwith incr. 30”/move, starting from move 1

    12. World Juniors and Girls U-20 Championship 90’/40+30’/endwith incr. 30”/move, starting from move 1

    13. Continental Individual Championships 90’/40+30’/endwith incr. 30”/move, starting from move 1

    14. Continental Team Championships 90’/40+30’/endwith incr. 30”/move, starting from move 1

    15. World Youth 14-16-18 Championships 90’/40+30’/endwith incr. 30”/move, starting from move 1

    16. World Cadets 08-10-12 Championships 90’/40+30’/endwith incr. 30”/move, starting from move 1

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  • FIDE Arbiters´Magazine – July 2015



    17. World Schools Individual Championships 90’/40+30’/endwith incr. 30”/move, starting from move 1

    18. World Schools Team Championships 90’/40+30’/endwith incr. 30”/move, starting from move 1

    19. World Amateur Championship 90’/40+30’/endwith incr. 30”/move, starting from move 1

    20. World Chess Olympiad U-16 90’/40+30’/endwith incr. 30”/move, starting from move 1

    21. World Rapid Championships15’ /endwith incr. 10” per move, starting frommove 1

    22. World Blitz Championships3’ /endwith incr. 2” per move, starting from move1

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  • World Chess Federation FIDE Arbiters' Commission


    The following Anti cheating guidelines for theArbiters have been approved by the 2014 SochiFIDE Presidential Board and are in effect from 1January 2015:

    (These guidelines shall be included in the subjectsand will be taught in all Workshops, FIDE Arbiters’Seminars and Courses for International and FIDE Ar-biters).

    The FIDE Laws of Chess that have been in effectfrom 1 July 2014 introduced new provisions againstcheating. Specifically:

    12.2 The arbiter shall: (a) ensure fair play. It means that it is the Arbiter’s duty to avoid the

    cheating by the players. The Laws also explicitly forbid electronic devices: 11.3.a During play players are forbidden to use any

    notes, sources of information or advice, or analyzeany game on another chessboard

    11.3.b During a game, a player is forbidden tohave a mobile phone, electronic means of communi-cation or any device capable of suggesting chessmoves on their person in the playing venue. However,the rules of the competition may allow such devicesto be stored in a player’s bag, as long as the deviceis completely switched off. A player is forbidden tocarry a bag holding such a device, without permissionof the arbiter. If it is evident that a player has such adevice on their person in the playing venue, the playershall lose the game. The opponent shall win. Therules of a competition may specify a different, less se-vere, penalty. The arbiter may require the player toallow his/her clothes, bags or other items to be in-spected, in private. The arbiter or a person authorizedby the arbiter shall inspect the player and shall be ofthe same gender as the player. If a player refuses tocooperate with these obligations, the arbiter shall takemeasures in accordance with Article 12.9.

    Tournament organizers are also free to introducetheir own regulations and conditions for events, pro-vided they are in accord with the Laws of Chess. Suchregulations may include that:- Arbiters should remind players of the existence of

    the new AC regulations.- Organizers and arbiters are encouraged to carry

    out regular screening tests via the FIDE Internet-based Game Screening Tool

    - Integral application of Law 11.3.b. In case ofbreach, the arbiter shall take measure in accor-dance with article 12.9.f and forfeit the player.

    - Additional security in the form of ACC-certifiedmetal detectors/x-ray machines, scanners, elec-tronic jamming devices, manned by qualified secu-

    rity staff, subject to applicable restrictions in eachindividual jurisdiction. Each tournament shouldadopt at least one measures from the ones listedin Annex D. The list is to be adjourned on a time-to-time basis by the ACC.

    - Obligation to present the AC Form at least 4 weeksbefore the start of the tournament (or as otherwisespecified in Paragraph 02 of the current FIDE Rat-ing regulations).

    Complaints For these reasons during a tournament the arbiter

    shall have a duty to record each and every allegationof cheating by a FIDE-rated player meaning that play-ers cannot “informally” tell an arbiter that they suspectthat another player is cheating. This also applies toany other person having a FIDE Identity Number. Allcheating-related communications shall be dulyrecorded by the arbiter and subsequently filed to theACC.

    Part A: In-Tournament Complaints Potential cheating incidents may be observed dur-

    ing play directly by a tournament arbiter. They canalso be reported to the arbiter by a player, a spectatoror, indeed, the ACC (e.g., based on statistical analysisor on-site inspection).

    If the report is based on possible breaches of Ar-ticle 11.2 or 11.3a, then the arbiter shall investigatethe breach in the usual manner, with reference to Ar-ticle 12.9 for possible penalties.

    If the complaint is specifically about possible cheat-ing, then the Chief Arbiter shall, in the first place, iden-tify the complainant and invite him to fill out aComplaint Form (Appendix A). The complainant shallprovide to the arbiter the reasons why the complaintis being made, and shall sign the form on completion.However, if the complainant is tense, the arbiter shallrecord the name of the complainant and ask for hissignature, and only at a later time ask him to fill in theform, but no later than the end of the round.

    Upon receiving a complaint, the arbiter shall takesteps to investigate it, whenever possible in coordina-tion with the ACC, using his/her judgment in how thisinvestigation is to be carried out. Any additional infor-mation that the arbiter gathers shall be added to thereport.

    The report shall be forwarded to the FIDE Office atthe completion of the tournament, who shall pass iton to the ACC. All information in the report shall re-main confidential until an investigation is completedby the ACC. In case of breach of privacy requirementsbefore the investigation is completed, the ACC re-


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  • FIDE Arbiters´Magazine – July 2015


    serves the right to publicize the details of the investi-gation and shall refer all offenders to the Ethics Com-mittee.

    On completion of the investigation the ACC shallissue an official report, explaining its process and de-cisions.

    If the complaint is manifestly unfounded, the com-plainant can receive a warning by the ACC, where-upon his name will be added to a special “Warningdata base” maintained by the ACC. Upon receiving asecond warning within a period of six months, thecomplainant shall be sanctioned (three months sus-pension for first violation, six months suspension forsecond violation).

    Part B: Post Tournament ComplaintPotential cheating may also be reported after a

    tournament has been completed, based, for example,on new findings (e.g. confessions, statistical evi-dence). In general, a Post Tournament Report shouldbe based on very substantial evidence, and com-plainants are required to illustrate their case in greatdetail for the ACC to actually consider it. PTRs can befiled only by interested parties such as players, Fed-erations and chess officials. The ACC may also opena case based on its own post-tournament findings.

    Investigation of alleged cheating incidents shall bestarted: (i). By an in-tournament report from the Chief Arbiter/

    Organizer of a tournament, (ii). By a post-tournament report, or (iii). As a result of self-originated investigation by the

    ACC. Each investigation will be carried out by an inves-

    tigating Committee appointed by the ACC, known asthe Investigating Committee (IC). The IC shall beformed on a case-to-case basis.

    1. How players can cheat during the game- An arbiter should know how a cheater typically

    acts and which devices are used for cheating. Typi-cally, a player can cheat by: i) accepting informationby another person (spectator, captain, co-player, etc.);or ii) getting information from any source of informa-tion or communication (such as books, notes, etc., orany electronic device). It the arbiter’s duty to take careof situations that may yield suspicions of cheating dur-ing the entire duration of the round.

    Often a cheater is using a mobile phone hidden ina pocket. This is forbidden according to Art. 11.3.b ofthe laws of chess. To find hidden mobile phones andother electronic devices, the use of hand-held metaldetectors and other equipment (such as mobile phonejammers, hand-held security metal detectors, walk-through metal detectors, automatic electro -magnetic

    screening devices for metallic/non-metallic items,closed circuit cameras) is highly recommended in alltournaments. Arbiters should exercise caution anddelicateness in asking for and carrying out a checkwith hand-held metal detectors. If a metal detectorgives a signal it is important to clarify the reason, ifnecessary by an inspection of the player and his be-longings as described in Art. 11.3.b of the Laws ofChess.

    2. Which precautions can be taken to preventcheating- The Arbiter must have a discreet control of the

    players that are leaving the playing area very often,for their contact with other players, spectators andother persons, according to Article 12 of the Laws ofChess.

    - The arbiter should be aware that in some casesa cheater gets information by a third party. The arbitershould prevent any contact between players andspectators such as talking and/or giving/receiving sig-nals.

    - The arbiter should never tolerate the use of chessprograms in the playing venue. In case he should de-tect a player or a spectator using a chess program inthe playing venue, he should immediately inform theChief Arbiter.

    - Organizers are free to assign extra arbiters to thespecific task of preventing cheating.

    - During a tournament, the arbiter is encouragedto use the FIDE screening tool with games in pgn for-mat, since that tool can identify cases needing furtherattention, or more likely, show that a player is not tobe considered suspicious based on his or her games.

    3. Screening games for precaution and informa-tion- During a tournament, the arbiter is encouraged to

    compile games in PGN format and submit them to theFIDE screening tool. This is not a cheating test andgives no statistical judgment, but its information isuseful to have beforehand in case any suspicions arevoiced or situations may be developing.

    - In early rounds (such as 1-3 of a 9-game event)there will always be outliers because the total numberof relevant moves is small, but any cheating playerwill likely be among them.

    - In middle rounds, honest outliers will tend to“regress to the mean”, while records of some pastcases show no-sanctioned players having becomemore obvious. Trials have shown it possible by thistime to be confident in the absence of statisticalground for suspicion against any player.

    - On the other hand, a persistent outlier may beground for contacting ACC, calling for a full statistical

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  • World Chess Federation FIDE Arbiters' Commission


    test, and for “unobtrusive” actions such as increasedwatchfulness of a player.

    - The screening tool will provide tables with guide-lines based on players’ ratings for gauging the mag-nitude of outliers. For instance, 67% matching is more“normal” for 2700- players than for 2300. Again onlythe full test can give any kind of judgment.

    4. How to deal with suspicious behavior- In case of a suspicious player’s behavior the Ar-

    biter must always follow the player on his way out ofthe playing venue (to the bar, toilets, smoking areaetc.), in order to avoid any contact of the player withother persons and any use of sources of informationor communication.

    - In multiple cases, there has been use of mobilephones in the toilet. Therefore the arbiter should notehow often a player leaves the playing area and if thisis significant take appropriate measures trying to findout the reason.

    5. How to deal with the new Article 11.3 of theLaws of Chess- The arbiter may require the player to allow his

    clothes, bags or other items to be inspected, in pri-vate. The arbiter, or a person authorized by the arbiter,shall inspect the player and shall be of the same gen-der as the player.

    - Usually the arbiter will inspect a player as de-scribed in Art. 11.3.b of the Laws of Chess only incase of suspicion of cheating or after receiving an of-ficial In-Tournament complaint, but only if he comesto the conclusion that the complaint is not evidentlyunfounded. If he decides to make an inspection onwhatever grounds, he is not obliged to give the playera special reason; however he should be calm, politeand discreet. The inspection of a player should be car-ried out in a separate room by a person of the samegender. Only this person, the player and one witness(also of the same gender) may have access to thisroom during the inspection. The player is entitled toselect a second witness of his own choice.

    - If there is no matter of urgency, the inspection ofa player and his belongings should generally be car-ried out before or immediately after the end of thegame. Still, the arbiter should be aware that it is pos-sible to hide the electronic devices somewhere in ornear to the playing venue as also to give them to athird party shortly before the end of the game. The ar-biter has also the right to check the player, who de-cided to leave the playing venue or upon request of aplayer who filed an In-Tournament complaint, but onlyonce during the round.

    - If a player refuses to be inspected it is advisedthat the arbiter explains the rules to him. If the player

    still refuses he shall get a warning. If he still refusesto submit to an inspection he shall lose his game.

    - If random inspections are considered, they mustbe announced in the rules of the competition in ad-vance.

    6. How to deal with accusations- The procedure how to deal with accusations is

    described in the part of Complaints. If any FIDE-Iden-tified person presents an accusation of cheating, thearbiter should ask him/her to make an official In-Tour-nament complaint. In case of refusal, the arbiter shallmake a remark in the tournament report and annotatethe person’s name as having presented a cheating ac-cusation. In this case the accused player shall not beinformed by the arbiter. If the arbiter receives an In-Tournament complaint he can inform the accusedplayer after the end of his game and ask him for com-ment. - The arbiter should mention in his tournamentreport any In-Tournament complaints and inspections,if any, specifying the result of each action.

    7. How to deal with false accusations.- In case of a false accusation by a player the Ar-

    biter shall penalize him according to the Article 12.2of the laws of Chess.

    The following technical equipment shall be adoptedby the Tournament Direction to contrast potentialcheaters in Top level tournaments. The actual equip-ment to be adopted shall be agreed between the ACCand the Tournament Direction on a case-to-casebasis.- Mobile phone jammers;- Hand-held security metal detectors- Walk-through metal detectors- Automatic electro-magnetic screening devices for

    metallic/non-metallic items- Closed circuit cameras.

    In most cases, a hand-held metal detector willprove enough to secure that electronic devices arenot being carried into the playing venue, and shouldthus always be considered as the first-choice device.The actual equipment to be adopted shall be agreedbetween the ACC and the Tournament Direction on acase-to-case basis.

    FIDE Internet-based Game Screening ToolThe Commission recommends the implementation

    of a FIDE Internet-based Game Screening Tool forpre-scanning games and identifying potential in-stances of cheating, together with the adoption of afull-testing procedure in cases of complaints. Togetherthey shall meet the highest academic and judicialstandards, in that they have been subject to publica-

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  • G.5 If Article G.4 does not apply and the player having the move has less than two minutes left on hisclock, he may claim a draw before his flag falls. He shall summon the arbiter and may stop the chessclock (see Article 6.12 b). He may claim on the basis that his opponent cannot win by normal means,and/or that his opponent has been making no effort to win by normal meansa. If the arbiter agrees that the opponent cannot win by normal means, or that the opponent has been

    making no effort to win the game by normal means, he shall declare the game drawn. Otherwise heshall postpone his decision or reject the claim.

    b. If the arbiter postpones his decision, the opponent may be awarded two extra minutes and the gameshall continue, if possible, in the presence of an arbiter. The arbiter shall declare the final result laterin the game or as soon as possible after the flag of either player has fallen. He shall declare the game

    FIDE Arbiters´Magazine – July 2015


    tion and peer review, have a limited and documentederror rate, have undergone vast empirical testing, arecontinuously maintained, and are generally acceptedby the scientific community. Once in place, the Inter-net-based Game Screening Tool will be accessible toarbiters and chess officials and will be a useful instru-ment to prevent fraud, while the full test procedure willadhere to greater privacy as managed by FIDE andACC.

    The FIDE Internet-Based Game Screening ToolFIDE will supply organizers and arbiters with an In-

    ternet-based Game Screening Tool that will be acces-sible to all authorized FIDE officials (IO, IA, ACCmembers) and National Federations. The Internet-based Game Screening Tool shall be hosted on a

    FIDE-dedicated webpage and will enable authorizedparties to upload games in pgn format for a “fast test”that will identify potential outliers in the tournament –i.e. players whose performance is far above their ex-pected level and potentially compatible with com-puter-assisted play.

    The results of the “fast test” are to be kept confi-dential and are only meant to assist the Chief Arbiterin identifying cases that may call for further measuresto assure that players are ad- hering to the rules. If re-quested, the ACC shall provide assistance to theChief Arbiter in determining such measures. It shouldbe reminded that only a “full test” can confer reliablestatistical evidence on whether the outlier is receivingexternal help, so that the results of the “fast test” arenot applicable for judgments of complaints.

    A. The following case has happened during a Youth Chess Championship:

    The game was played according to G5 (see Laws of Chess, Appendix G ) of the “quickplay finish”.The player with the black pieces, having the move, has less than two minutes left on his clock. Heclaimed a draw before his flag falls. He called the arbiter and stopped the chess clock. He claimed onthe basis that his opponent cannot win by normal means once he will play Kg7, … Kh8, etc.


    What should the arbiter decide?

    The relevant Article of the laws of Chess says:

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  • B. The following case has happened during anInternational Open Chess Tournament:

    The position below appeared after the playerwith white pieces made the move Nxc7. Immedi-ately after he made that move his flag fell. Theplayer with the black pieces claimed the win.

    What should be the Arbiters’ decision regard-ing the result?

    It is a case of a draw, since the opponent of theplayer whose flag fell (white) cannot give a check-mate by any series of legal moves, as there is aforced continuation where white makes a checkmate!

    1. Nc7+, RXc7+, 2. NXc7+, RXc7+, 3. KXc7+,check mate !

    The relevant Article of the laws of Chess says:

    The Arbiter had to declare the game as a draw

    C. The following case has happened during the2015 World Women’s Team Chess Championship,where the time control is 90 min/40 moves + 30min/end, with 30 sec increment starting frommove one.

    In a game of the first round both players are intime trouble in the first period. The arbiter iswatching the game in the next board, where thereis also a time trouble. Black's flag fell after theplayer made her 32nd move. The position was thefollowing:

    The player called the Arbiter and insisted thatshe had made her 32nd move and had pressedher clock but the flag fell and insisted that theclock was defected. The Arbiter immediatelychecked the clock and found that it was workingproperly (the move counter was recording thenumber of the moves correctly).

    The black player was insisting that she hadpressed the clock properly and that the clock hadthe problem. The Captain of the player's team ar-rived and the arbiter demonstrated once more in

    World Chess Federation FIDE Arbiters' Commission


    a. Wrong decisionDeclare that is a draw it´s a wrong decision because white may wins.

    c. Wrong decisionReject the claim it´s a wrong decision because it´s the same as to tell to the player with whitepieces that he can win that game

    b. Correct decisionThe arbiter must postpone his decision and let the game continue under his (or one of his As-sistants) presence.

    drawn if he agrees that the opponent of the player whose flag has fallen cannot win by normal means,or that he was not making sufficient attempts to win by normal means.

    c. If the arbiter has rejected the claim, the opponent shall be awarded two extra minutes.

    6.9 Except where one of Articles 5.1.a, 5.1.b,5.2.a, 5.2.b, 5.2.c applies, if a player does notcomplete the prescribed number of moves in theallotted time, the game is lost by that player. How-ever, the game is drawn if the position is such thatthe opponent cannot checkmate the player’s kingby any possible series of legal moves.

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  • front of him and both players that the clock wasworking properly and was not defected.

    Then the Arbiter based on the Article 6.10.a ofthe Laws of Chess which says:

    D. The following case has happened during the2015 World Amateur Chess Championship, wherethe time control is 90 min/40 moves + 30 min/end,with 30 sec increment starting from move one.

    The Arbiter is passing by the tables in the play-ing hall and sees that in one game the blackplayer's flag has fallen. She stops the game im-mediately and checks the score sheets. Both play-ers have recorded 42 moves. She checks themove counter of the clock and finds that it shows39 moves. The player with the white pieces saysthat the flag really fell on move 39 and claims awin. The player with the black pieces disagrees.The Arbiter explains to the player with the whitepieces that she cannot base any decision on hiswitness and applies article 6.8 of the Laws ofChess, setting the clocks on move 42 and adding30 minutes to both players, asking them to con-tinue the game. The white player calls the ChiefArbiter who agrees with the decision of the Arbiterand the game continues. The white player lost thegame and made an appeal against the decision ofthe Arbiters. The Appeals Committee after a shortdiscussion unanimous rejected the appeal anddidn't change the result of the game, acceptingthe decision of the Arbiters as correct.

    The decision of the Arbiter and the Appeals Com-mittee afterwards were correct.

    Article 6.8 of the Laws of Chess says:

    E. The following case has happened during the2015 Dubai Open Chess Championship.

    According to the Chief Arbiter’s IA Mahdi Abdul-rahim report:

    The tournament was a 9-round Swiss System, with150 participants from 39 federations.

    During the 6th round of the tournament the ChiefArbiter got a question and claim from GM Tigran Pet-rosian (ARM) that his opponent GM Gaioz Nigalidze(GEO) was leaving the tournament hall several timesduring their game.

    So there was aroused a suspicion that the Geor-gian player was getting help from somewhere, as GMPetrosian noticed that the Georgian was going veryfrequent to the toilet after each move during a crucialpart of the game.

    The Chief Arbiter considered the claim and fol-lowed the player to the Toilet. He went into the sametoilet and he was waiting more than six minutes. Ni-galidze came out and he closed the bathroom doorafter leaving it, and then when the Chief Arbiter askedfor inspection of his clothes, he agreed, but he em-barrassed at the same time. The Chief Arbiterchecked him but he did not find any device with him.

    After a while the Arbiter was suspected that theplayer was always using the same cubicle no (2).Then he returned to the toilet and when he checkedthe cubicle, he found an IPOD and a headset hiddenbehind the pan and covered with toilet paper.

    When confronted, Nigalidze denied he owned thedevice, but the Chief Arbiter and the Tournament di-rector Mr. Yahya Saleh opened the electronic device(IPOD) and found that it was logged into a social net-working site and he was using stock fish engine with

    FIDE Arbiters´Magazine – July 2015


    6.10.aEvery indication given by the chess clock is con-sidered to be conclusive in the absence of anyevident defect.

    6.8 A flag is considered to have fallen when theArbiter observes the fact or when either playerhas made a valid claim to that effect

    The arbiter’s decision was correct.The arbiter did well showing and demonstratingto the players and the captain that the clock wasworking properly.

    The Arbiter observed the fact on move 42, socorrectly decided the game to be continued.None of the players made any relative claim forthe flag fall.The player should have made a claim for flagfall on move 39. Then he should win the game. When he claimed it on move 42 it was not pos-sible the claim to be accepted.

    However in any case the Arbiter (or his Assis-tant) should have been close to the board andcontrol the game, since the players were in timetrouble (even if the time control was with incre-ment and both players were obliged to recordtheir moves). In this way he would have avoidedthe incident, because he had to call the flag fallimmediately.

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  • World Chess Federation FIDE Arbiters' Commission


    some analyze of his game until move 23. Cheatingwas obvious.

    The Chief Arbiter in consultation with the Organizerof the Tournament gave GM Petrosian the win and re-moved GM Nigalidze from the tournament.

    The decision taken was:

    GM Gaioz Nigalidze (GEO) was banned from17th Dubai Open 2015 because of cheating. Hewas caught by consulting a device hidden in oneof the toilet cubicles of the Dubai Chess and Cul-ture Club during his sixth-round encounter withGM Tigran Petrosian (ARM).

    Article 11.3.b says: F. The following case has happened during the2015 USA Chess Championship.

    In the 9th round of the event GM Wesley So(PHI) was forfeited in his game against GMVaruzhan Akobian (USA) by the Chief Arbiter, be-cause he was using notes.

    Actually he had written on a paper that he hadput under his score sheet the phrases “Doublecheck and triple check” and “Use your time”. GMAkobian complained to the Chief Arbiter that thiswas distracted for him.

    The same had happened in the 1st round, whenSo had written on his score sheet the phrase:“Use your time, you have a lot of it” and in 2ndround: “Sit down for the entire game, never getup”.

    The Chief Arbiter had warned GM So after the1st round and he gave him a second warning in3rd round, informing him that if he will do it for athird time, he would forfeit him. Therefore he for-feited him in the 9th round and gave the win to GMAkobian.

    Wesley So declared that he had concentratingtroubles and by writing such advices to himselfhe was trying to solve his problem.

    According to the Laws of Chess:

    b. During play, a player is forbidden to have amobile phone and/or other electronic means ofcommunication in the playing venue. If it is evi-dent that a player brought such a device into theplaying venue, he shall lose the game. The op-ponent shall win. The rules of a competition may specify a differ-ent, less severe, penalty. The arbiter may require the player to allow hisclothes, bags or other items to be inspected, inprivate. The arbiter or a person authorized bythe arbiter shall inspect the player and shall beof the same gender as the player. If a player re-fuses to cooperate with these obligations, thearbiter shall take measures in accordance withArticle 12.9.

    The Chief Arbiter correctly considered theplayer’s claim and checked the player who wasgoing very often to the toilet. He was cleverenough to check the toilet as well, as soon ashe found nothing after searching the player. Thepenalty he applied was according to the Article12.9 of the Laws of Chess.

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  • FIDE Arbiters´Magazine – July 2015


    8.1.b. The score sheet shall be used only forrecording the moves, the times of the clocks,offer of a draw, matters relating to a claim andother relevant data.11.3.a. During play the players are forbidden touse any notes, sources of information or advice,or analyze any game on another chessboard.11.5. It is forbidden to distract or annoy the op-ponent in any matter whatsoever. 11.7. Persistent refusal by a player to complywith the Laws of Chess shall be penalized byloss of the game. The Arbiter shall decide thescore of the opponent.

    The Chief Arbiter had the right to take such adecision to forfeit GM Wesley So in his gameagainst GM Varuzhan Akobian as: (a) he hadwarned him twice and he had informed him thathe would forfeited him in case he would re-peated it for a third time and (b) his opponentcomplained that he was distracted by So’s ac-tion.

    In general the Chief Arbiter of an event has tobe very careful when applying the penalty of theforfeiture for a player. He has to do it if it is theonly solution to the problem that was raised andonly if it is according to the Laws of Chess.

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  • The cover page photos are courtesy of IA E. Saltamara (GRE),

    who also compiled the edition.

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